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Interview:
Counting Crows are still happy to be hanginaround
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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When he's at home in New York, Counting Crows' frontman Adam Duritz hosts what he calls an enjoyable "carnage," a house "filled with musicians, bloggers strewn around the floor. That's kind of pleasant."

But, he adds, that never keeps him from taking the band on tour, and 22 years after Counting Crows' multi-platinum debut "August and Everything After" Duritz considers the road to be even more than a second home./

"To be honest with you, I really do miss home when we're on tour and I want to get back there, but I think at this point in my life I'm almost more comfortable when I'm on tour and there's a schedule to follow," the 51-year-old Duritz, who founded Counting Crows during 1991 in Berkley, Calif., says by phone. "I've got a lot of my s*** together in the last couple of years and I"m very functional. I work well now, but I still don't know exactly what to do with myself when I don't have a set amount of things to. If I have too much free time I find myself sitting at home by myself, forgetting to call anybody.

"So work is good for me. I'm at my best when I'm around people and have stuff to do."

That seldom seems to be a problem for Duritz, who maintains a corps of other bands and artists to produce and mentor, or even just provide a haven for creativity. Counting Crows, of course, remain the main concert; the group released its latest album, "Somewhere Under Wonderland," a year ago, and after living with the songs that long Duritz says he's still pleased that the album -- reflecting the influence of a musical, "Black Sun," he wrote with playwright Stephen Beiber -- pushed him a bit out of his usual introspective songwriting and more into narrative and storytelling.

"The most important thing for me about songwriting is you're expressing how you feel about things," Duritz explains. "For most of my career I've sort of couched that inside this plot of my life. And these songs aren't really like that.

"I think when I first started writing a lot of the ('Somewhere Under Wonderful') songs, they didn't feel personal in some ways because they weren't the story of me. But given some time and given the enthusiasm of the other guys (in the band), I sort of forced myself to take them more seriously. It felt liberating to get the chance to write and express the things I was feeling without them having to be stuck in that plot of my life. It was fresh, and I like that."

Counting Crows, Citizen Cope and Hollis Brown

7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10.

Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway.

Tickets are $39.50-$125 pavilion, $30 lawn.

Call (586) 268-7820 or visit www.freedomhill.net.

Web Site: www.freedomhill.net

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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